Many Mobcraft releases are an interesting take on a style, or a blending of two different styles to create a unique new product with the potential to be great! Vanilla Wafer Porter, Mobcraft’s 20th release seems a little tamer than many of the other recent Mobcraft releases, falling back on an adjunct addition that is definitely at home in a well-brewed porter, vanilla and cocoa nibs. Now I love a good Vanilla Porter, especially in the winter when the dark malts and vanilla can be paired with Christmas cookies or pumpkin pie. Vanilla Wafer Porter however was released this past July, as a byproduct of it receiving enough pre-orders in April to be released as the 20th batch. For those of you who are unaware, almost every new Mobcraft batch begins as a recipe concept submitted to the Mobcraft Beer website, batch 20 was submitted by Colt Seaberg of Rockford, IL. The submitted recipes are then pitted against each other in a competition to find out which beer will receive the most pre-orders through the Mobcraft website. This creative means of deciding what to brew next has led Mobcraft to release many interesting one-off beers in their short history, and I am sure there is no shortage of interesting beers in their future.
On to the review…
Rich Porter with a little cocoa throughout the mouthful with a strong vanilla wafer finish.
Scaled down so you can brew your own 5 gallon batch
· 1oz Vanilla
· 2oz Cocoa Nibs
- Safale US-05
- 1.5lbs Victory
- 7lbs Pale Ale Malt
- 3lbs Amber Malt
- 1lbs Red Wheat
- .75lb Roasted Rye
- 1oz Willamette @ 60
GRAVITY - 1.068/1.015
IBU - 25
ABV - 7%
Vanilla Wafer Porter pours a very clear dark walnut color with dark mahogany highlights around the edges when held to the light. It is capped by a moderately thick, small bubbled, white head with slight rocky breakup. The head holds moderate retention; lasting 2-3 minutes before fading back into the glass and leaving a minimal amount of lacing behind. Rich biscuit and vanilla aromas waft out of the glass, joined by light notes of milk chocolate. A slight hint of toasted malts and vanilla round out the aroma invitingly.
Slight vanilla and milk chocolate notes lead the flavor with notes of roasted malts coming out later. Vanilla and slight biscuit flavors become increasingly pronounced as the beer warms with the chocolate notes never quite dissipating as the roasted malt flavors fade. The overall impression is of one of those cream filled wafer cookies that I loved as a kid. With a moderate maltiness and a moderately low level of hop bitterness this beer comes in a little light on the bitterness for a porter, although a more pronounced hop bitterness would not have provided the same drinking experience. Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation, this beer comes in as expected for a good porter.
Vanilla Wafer Porter is definitely reminiscent of a cream filled wafer cookie with the added benefit that it doesn’t taste stale immediately after opening the package. It is a well thought out and playful beer that brings back childhood memories. While drinking it however, I couldn’t help but feel that a full body would have really knocked this beer out of the park; as the biscuit, vanilla, and chocolate flavors would have greatly benefited from the full bodied beer giving it a richer feel. I suppose that would have been a step away from the wafer cookies it was attempting to emulate however.
Vanilla Wafer Porter is a solid beer that is well worth picking up if you can find it at a store near you.
Well, that’s all for tonight, check back soon for another review.
Happy Drinking, and remember to always Drink Wisconsinbly!